18 Things I Won't Prosecute

More than any other candidate in this race, I understand how difficult it is to repeal outdated overly punitive statutes in our laws. As an Assemblymember, I spent seven years fighting to repeal just two words from our penal code: gravity knife. My legislation unraveled years of racist, arbitrary and unconstitutional prosecutions of workers arrested in Manhattan for carrying a basic pocket knife.

Every District Attorney makes choices about what to prosecute and what to ignore. Even the most punitive prosecutor in New York has never charged anyone with Adultery, which is a class B misdemeanor, and is certainly committed in every county in the state.

Too often, our culture moves faster than our legislature. District Attorneys, as elected representatives of the people, have a responsibility to respond to those changes and to set priorities based on considerations of community needs and public safety.

When I’m Manhattan DA, I’ll lead by example and be a strong force for decarceration in Manhattan, in City Hall and in Albany. More prosecutions doesn’t equal more safety.

You can hold me accountable for this promise – here’s a list of some of what I won’t prosecute:

  1. Simple trespassing, without criminal intent
  2. Disorderly conduct without any other charge
  3. Possession of alcohol by a minor
  4. Drug possession for personal use
  5. Resisting arrest without any other charge
  6. Marijuana possession or sale
  7. Turnstile jumping
  8. Burglary in the third degree – I won’t use the felony bumpup simply because a larceny occurred inside a building
  9. Loitering for the purpose of gambling, prostitution, or busking
  10. Vast majority of welfare fraud and possession of stolen property
  11. Consensual sex work and associated charges
  12. Won’t prosecute people experiencing homelessness with trespassing charges
  13. Possession of graffiti instruments
  14. Fortune telling
  15. Possession of drug paraphernalia
  16. Gambling charges
  17. Obscenity
  18. Adultery